GUWAHATI: The State Election Commissioner (SEC) has clarified that the Supreme Court of India has never instructed it to take officials from other States for holding panchayat elections in Assam.
The SEC secretary made this clarification on Tuesday while reacting to a news item published on the August 21, 2018 issue of The Sentinel. The SEC secretary also said that the SEC had not made any comment on its inability to conduct the ensuing panchayat election in the State.
However, very essence of the report of The Sentinel published on its August 21, 2018 issue is that the panchayat poll in Assam was supposed to have been held by the first half of 2018. The Gauhati High Court also directed the Assam SEC to complete the panchayat poll process by September 15, 2018. It is August 21. Thus less than a month is to go for the expiry of the deadline set by the High Court. What the news item wanted to get across is that this is too short a period for holding the panchayat poll in the State if the SEC is to meet the deadline set by the high court.
Meanwhile, the delayed panchayat poll in Assam also drew the attention of the Supreme Court of India. In its hearing on the NRC case on March 27, 2018, the apex court did permit the SEC to hold the panchayat poll in the State by deploying additional deputy commissioners in each of the districts in the State.